It's hard to document events without ever mentioning the weather when they play such a significant role--like a villain in a story. But if said villain is terrifically-developed, it's also hard not to grow fond of him/her/it--as people do with Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, Spike or Dru in Buffy, Frankenstein, Professor Snape… you get the idea. I had a point there somewhere.
Instead of letting the rain soak festival spirits, Toronto pretty much embraced the atmospheric villainy. In between intermittent pouring, the guys behind Young Lions Music Club & Live in Bellwoods pulled off yet another Great Heart success at Trinity Bellwoods.
Headed again to the Arts & Crafts Pop Up a few blocks down, this time to see Toronto's Alvvays and Prince Edward Island's Boxer the Horse.
(Boxer the Horse)
And also managed to snap some rain-embracing style from festival-goers!
Brooklyn's Black Marble was also playing just a few steps away at the Blk Box. Caught them just before heading to the Comfort Zone for Braids. And unsurprisingly, so did every other festival-goer, it seemed. The queue outside took a fair bit, but whoever chose the venue for the Montreal-based band definitely had the right idea. Braids' music perfectly blended with the eerie glow-in-the-dark lighting.
My only regret that evening: not wearing a Picnic at Hanging Rock–dress!
Mikal Cronin was conveniently playing next door at the Silver Dollar, which proved to be my favourite set of the festival so far. Not only was the band great to watch but the crowd also held up its end of showing genuine fervour!
(The Soft Moon)
Around 2 A.M. one of our secret shows, The Soft Moon, went on at The Horseshoe Tavern and totally blew the crowd away.
At the end of the night, it just feels right to see broken guitar strings. —Carmel
Our guest blogger Carmel hit up a bunch of NXNE shows yesterday, including one of our secret shows, Nu Sensae, and reported back with a quick recap of everything that went on! Choosing what bands to see every day is proving an impossible mission and it's only going to get more hectic from here on out. We can't wait!
(Secret show performers, Nu Sensae)
The city is yet to see much of summer this year. I don't know about you, but the grey, nippy outdoors is making me feel like we're running around Edinburgh rather than Toronto in high summer. Luckily we saw a bit of sun yesterday!
Grimes, aka the greatest woman ever, released a video for "Venus in Fleurs," a song surprisingly not off of Visions, an album you are probably very familiar with by now. What makes me most happy about this video is that she released it herself on her Tumblr, with a note making it clear that she doesn't really care about the press. You tell 'em, Claire! Anyway, besides the politics of the music biz, this video is very nice, and was created by Video Marsh, all using footage from the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in British Columbia, that is beautiful but also super spooky at the same time. —Maddie
Lightning Dust, a side project of Amber Webber and Joshua Wells, both from Black Mountain, are releasing their third album entitled Fantasy on June 25, and Urban Outfitters has the exclusive first listen to the opening track on the album, "Diamond." The duo wanted to go purely synthetic with this album, so Wells used a badass, old-school sequencer in creating the songs. Adding Webber's vibrato into the equation made for some absolutely fantastic summer tunes. (Seriously, this is going to be epic road trip music.) If you'd like to pre-order their album, you can do so here (the deluxe bundle includes a 7" single that's limited to the first 200 orders!), and if you're itching to see the band live, they're playing at the Pickathon Festival in Oregon this August. —Katie
(Photo credit: Ila Meens)
Music festivals are the best part of the weather getting warmer. Any excuse to not shower for three days and drink beer at 11 AM, amirite? While we all know the big festivals that go down every year (Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza), there are also a gazillion (yes, gazillion) smaller ones that look like they're going to be just as amazing. I mean, if I were in Austin, I'd totally be front-row for everything going on at the Austin Psych Fest. We aren't able to list every single festival (there are 4,000 Jam Band festivals alone), but here are the best of the best. Even good ol' Kansas is getting in on the action, so there's something for everyone! —Katie
Austin Psych Fest
May 4 & 5
Bottle Rock Napa Valley
Napa Valley, CA
May 25 & 26
The Governor's Ball
Happy Valley, OR
Kansas City, KS
June 28 & 29
Calgary, AB, Canada
Bad Day, the Toronto-based interview and editorial magazine, has made its archive of back issues available online. The issues, which feature style icons like Glenn O'Brien and Charlotte Gainsbourg, actors such as Jason Schwartzman and James Franco, and low-key fashion shoots with skinny naked chicks, are mostly out of print and being made available digitally for the first time. Check out the archive for some of the best, minimalist print design I've seen in awhile. —Angelo
When my everyday struggles make me want to get whisked away to a whimsical world, I rely on photographer Vinna Laudico to take me there. Her dream-like photos take me away to a simplistic universe where flowers, flowing hair and mysterious lands rule the realm, and you can become anyone you want to be. Can I stay there forever, please? –Ally
Booooooom has a link to the full-length version of the longawaited Machotaildrop and it looks pretty fucking awesome. According to IMDB the movie is "a highly visual and fantastical journey about an amateur skateboarder." I can absolutely get behind a whimsical, Wes Anderson-esque flick about a gang of sk8r bois. -Katie
Montreal-based photographer Benoit Paillé explains on his Flickr page that his series LSD is "a meditation about the holism of nature surrounding me.” Like the title suggests, the series was made after Benoit dropped acid in the woods, lit candles and took four-minuite exposure photos, making a beautiful series of photos that make me want to get out of the city and set up somewhere along the woods now! Breathtaking. - Jennilee
Graphic designer Geoff McFetridge has a new solo show in Toronto at the Cooper Cole gallery (1161 Dundas St West), running now until the 8 of December. Always insanely graphic, this show features acrylic paintings and a limited run of screen prints. Though McFetridge is from Canada, this is his first solo show there. Definitely a must see for anyone close to the area. Check out more work from the show here. -Lorin
We tapped Vancouver, BC based skater Nate Lacoste to be in our latest men's catalog, photographed by Jason Nocito in NYC. Here, he answers a few questions.
Hosted by Project Space and Fillip, The Vancouver Art Book Fair seeks to fill a gap on the West Coast, looking to Printed Matter's NY Art Book Fair in New York City as the only other major North American art book fair. The fair will be showcasing a series of talks, book and zine launches, exhibitions and readings. Participating publishers, artists, designers and writers include French curator and publisher Charlotte Cheetham of Manystuff, Brian Kennon of 2nd Cannon Press, and artist Germaine Koh. The fair takes place October 5-7 at the Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby Street). Looking forward to it! - Jennilee
In honor of the incredibly boring VMAs, we present to you the incredibly rad DeathPop Club illustrations by Mark Hall-Patch. Created for the people who "make/made the devil's music," these heavy metal themed logos are perfect for spicing things up in the world of the pop queens and teens. Please start using these! Especially you, Bieber. -Ally
Vancouver-based Lifetime Collective has released their third edition of Free Thinkers, their zine dedicated to shedding light on the work and processes of emerging artists, musicians and designers. This edition of Free Thinkers has features, stories, and conversations with Vancouver-based musicians Hard Drugs, Miami's Jacuzzi Boys, artist Jay Howell, and artist and founder of Booooooom.com, Jeff Hamada. In addition, the magazine also shows their beautiful A/W 2012 Lookbook, shot along Iceland's epic landscape by Jeff Petry. Pick up a free copy at Antisocial, St. Mark's Bookshop, Family, or Cameron's Books. - Jennilee